Trainer Charlie LoPresti said Monday morning that Jose Lezcano probably would have the mount Friday on 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan when he makes his seasonal debut in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1).
“I know Mr. (Morton) Fink wants Lezcano to ride him,” LoPresti said
of the gelding’s owner and breeder. “If something happens to where
Lezcano can’t ride, it would be Julien Leparoux.”
John Velazquez, regular rider for Wise Dan, was involved in a spill
Sunday at Aqueduct and suffered a fractured rib and chipped a bone in
his right wrist and will be unavailable to ride Friday.
Lezcano pinch-hit for Velazquez last fall in the Shadwell Turf Mile
(G1) when Velazquez had a prior commitment. Lezcano rode Wise Dan to a
2¼-length victory that served as a steppingstone to Wise Dan’s victory
in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Wise Dan will be the second LoPresti stable star to make his 2013 debut at the meet. Four D Stables’ Turallure finished sixth in a turf allowance race at 1 1/8 miles Saturday in his first start since July 1.
“I thought he ran a good race and came out of the race fine,”
LoPresti said. “He put in his run and Julien (Leparoux) took care of
him. He only got beat 3½ lengths.
“I didn’t really want to run him a mile and an eighth for his first
time back, but after talking to (Keeneland racing secretary) Ben
(Huffman), there was a mile allowance race on April 14 but there was no
guarantee it would fill and then he would be sitting here all meet
without a race.”
Turallure, a Grade 1 winner, likely will return to the races next month at Churchill Downs.
“If he had run second beaten a head or won, we maybe would have
thought about the Woodford Reserve (Turf Classic, G1 on May 4),”
LoPresti said. “But this horse needs to win and there is a mile and a
sixteenth allowance race during Derby Week.”